The Opposite of Courage

This weekend was our first big event, a concession at a baseball tournament – a last minute one that I had high hopes for. We rushed around getting things ready – we only had 4 days to “get ‘er done”.

Saturday came and the wind blew and the ball players drank; but, they didn’t eat like I’d hoped. They didn’t bring their kids who would bug them for money for the concession. They barely even stopped by. I stood there trying to smile in the cold, trying to believe that I’d done the right thing. Trying not to worry about the money we’d invested in putting this together. Trying not to worry about letting my best friend down.

I am normally so courageous and upbeat about this new business adventure that I’m on with my best friend. This weekend, it was hard.

Saturday night, I was tired. My husband and I were alone, no kids. Yet, I didn’t have the strength to enjoy just being with him.

It was more than the tiredness from being on my feet all day or from being so fricking freezing! It was more than that.

I’d lost my courage. I lay there in my husbands arms, sobbing. Worried. Disappointed. Wasted. I had no courage at all. I cried and lamented that it wasn’t going Perfectly.

He held me and wiped my tears, over and over with gentle kisses. He spoke tenderly and encouraged me and listened and listened. I begged his forgiveness for trying this and he scolded and told me that it wasn’t wrong to follow my heart and do what I love.

He told me over and over that I didn’t have to worry. He told me he admired my courage – that courage that I felt I’d lost. He admired that I was taking the chance. That I’d ignored the nay-sayers. That I’d worked so hard. He admired the courage that kept me going to work everyday, even when I’d rather be somewhere else. The courage that makes me the great mom that I am.

I felt so less than all of those things that he admires about me. I was the opposite of courageous. All I could see was what I’m not. And man, I did not like that person at all. I thought I was past all of that.

Yet, there he was, still there, still encouraging, still admiring. He’s seen me in those darkest hours, he’s seen the opposite of Courage as the tears fall.

Yet, even with all that right in front of him, he does not see it. He sees only the woman that I want to be. The courageous, strong, beautiful woman. He sees her, even when I cannot.

And that, gives me courage again.

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43 thoughts on “The Opposite of Courage

  1. I find going out there – where you haven’t been, where you cannot possibly predict what will happen – very courageous.

  2. Oh Nicki, you are so encouraging! Thank you!

    We were able to look back on the weekend last night and consider all that we’d learned and what we had gained.

    Thanks for the being in my corner too! 🙂

  3. I found you through Momalom and I’m glad I did. I don’t feel very courageous, ever. But this weekend I melted down as well. I have a son who is 17! And it’s been hard watching him gain his independence and wonder about my role– the rest of my life.

    I, too, take risks. Sometimes it feels like I take four steps forward and 6 steps back. Always.

    Between the exhaustion and the worry…somewhere I feel like I’ve lost my courage too.

  4. Terry, thanks for stopping by! I’m so glad you “found” me! and I “found you” 🙂

    It is so very encouraging to know that so many of us are going through the same things, isn’t it? Knowing that there are all these amazing women “out there” that are feeling the same way gives me courage.

    We are all exhausted, we are all worried. Yet, we are all doing great things! As long as we keep moving forward, we can accomplish anything! Know that your blogger friends are here, cheering you on! 🙂

    That gives me courage, and hopefully, you too! Take care!

  5. Also here thanks to the good graces of Sarah and Jen. You are so not alone in feeling exhausted and worried and taking a chance means you may succeed. Without taking the chance, you never will.

    You’re also not alone in letting emotion have it’s way. I’ve been in meltdown mode since early morning, wrestling with a recurring parenting problem that has no solution.

    Glad to be here! (Hope to be back.)

    1. A Huge thanks to Sarah and Jen! This has been so much fun and inspiring! I am so thankful to not be alone – sometimes it feels that way. I am very lucky to have such support, both offline and my new friends online! Thanks for being here!

  6. Found you through Momalom and thanks for writing about the opposite of courage! I can relate. When I’m done standing tall and pretending my way through confidence all the time that’s when I need someone else to hold me up for a while too.

    Lovely post!

  7. Shawna, I think it takes a lot of courage to break down – after all, how can we build back up again even stronger? I also think it takes courage to write about your absolutely human experience. I for one find inspiration in knowing that I’m not alone in the ebbs and flows of this life.

    Thank you, Shawna, for sharing your experience – and so bravely!

  8. This is the very embodiment of one of my favorite quotes:

    “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength,
    while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”
    Lao Tzu

  9. Just found you through Momalom and I love this post. Being vulnerable and putting your fears out there takes great courage. Your husband sounds like a keeper, too. 😉

    Enjoy Five for Ten! I look forward to reading more from you.

  10. Hang in there!! You have to take chances, there was no way of knowing…..
    Thank you, my dear brother-in-law for helping her:)

  11. Great to meet you through Five for Ten. And what an honest post! But I agree, sometimes the courage is actually letting the feelings out, putting yourself out there, admitting when things aren’t going right. Sometimes putting words to it is the hardest thing to do because it’s the next step to making the feelings real. But it is also the next step toward gaining perspective. And it sounds like you have the support you need to press forward. You can do it!

  12. I randomly picked this post from the list on Momalom today, and am glad I did.

    Isn’t amazing to see yourself through someone else’s eyes, especially through those of one who loves you so deeply? I loved the Lao Tzu quote left by Natalie. After days like the one you have described, strength sometimes needs to come from the outside.

    Thank you for the honest post. And, as has been said often here, you are not alone.

  13. This is a courageous post. We all have moments like that, and you are so blessed to have someone like your husband to lift you up when you can’t muster the strength to do it yourself. I am here today because of mine, and if they have faith in us, just seeing what they can from the outside, surely we too can have faith and the courage to soldier on, knowing from the inside that we are capable of so much more…At least I truly think we are.

    Glad to be here from Momalom.

    1. Thanks Justine – I am truly blessed. I write about him often. It hasn’t always been easy, but working it out and knowing that we believe in each other has been what has gotten us through.

      So glad that you have someone like that too! And thankful for Momalom!

  14. What an incredible moment with your husband. Sometimes I too get overwhelmed when things I’m doing my best to make happen fall short, but it takes courage to admit it. Even to the person who loves you most. What a relief it is to get it out, though. Especially when the truth is greeted by so much love and support.

    1. Thanks CK – I am so glad I’m not the only one that gets overwhelmed! It sure helped talking about my feelings and getting his reassurance!

  15. What you are doing is very, very brave. You are leaving your comfort zone, putting yourself out, 100%, into the unknown.

    I’d be a wreck. You are strong for taking such a huge risk, and for not being afraid to admit that you’re scared. Sounds like your husband is a keeper.

    1. I wouldn’t be this far along if I didn’t have his support and the support of this fantastic online community. You amaze me also with your strength and perseverance!

  16. Shawna, I want to tell you how very close I came to pitching it all last fall. I believed I had failed at my business. The numbers were completely dismal. My credit score took an absolute sh1t-kicking. I felt humiliated that I had allowed things to get so bad.

    I don’t have the support that you do. I don’t have that safe place to curl up and cry and have someone kiss away my tears. GOD how I envy you that!

    So one day, in the shower, I just threw up my arms and said, “I give up. Take it. I’m done. Just show me what to do next, and I’ll do it. No questions. But here’s how it’s going to be: If I’m meant to keep plugging at this, then YOU have to make it clear as glass — because obviously, the subtle hints aren’t working!”

    (Yes, I talk to God in the shower. ‘Fess up. We ALL do it.)

    Shortly after that, some interesting things happened, and some enlightening conversations. In short, *I changed my mind.* And then I changed my business.

    I’m still not out of the woods. But every now and then, I find myself making what ‘someone else’ would call a foolish, outrageous decision.

    Wanna know something?

    It feels GREAT to be outrageous!

    (And in my case, I can’t wait for ‘permission’ to do these things, or I’ll be in the same place in 20 years, only worse.)

    The other day I took a tumble on the street in front of our house, trying to stop the neighbour’s dog from getting hit by a car. It looked a lot worse than it was. It was awkward and stupid and ungainly. I stood up and brushed myself off. “No big deal,” I said, lifting my pant leg. “It’s just a scraped knee.”

    In this I saw the lesson:
    I may not fall with a whole lot of grace and dignity. But after 45 years, I sure as hell know how to bounce back up again.

    1. Patti, you are the BEST! Let’s be OUTRAGEOUS together my friend! Remember, you inspired me to get out there and chase my dreams! Your support and help is ALWAYS appreciated!!!

      BTW – I’m here for you too, you know!

  17. PS – Your story about those tender moments with B… thanks for making me CRY!!!

    Did I mention I ENVY that?

    Starting business is brave. Keep going – with a support like that in your corner, you’re gonna be GREAT!! (And if you need help with anything, let me know.)

    1. Thanks as always for being there and being such a great friend. You are always there to encourage me too.

      Sorry about making you cry. I am very blessed and thankful for what we have.

  18. It is important to have a cheerleader in your life. My husband is mine and I am glad you have one too. When you don’t feel courageous, it always nice to borrow some strength from your husband.

    Glad I wandered over here. Five for Ten is great!

    1. Five for Ten IS great, isn’t it! Thanks so much for commenting! He is my rock. I truly wish everyone could have someone like you and I have. We are blessed!

  19. “Yet, even with all that right in front of him, he does not see it. He sees only the woman that I want to be.”

    If he sees this woman, chances are he is seeing the truth. He knows you right? He cares for you, loves you, wishes the world for you? I think that in beginning to write about this you are starting to have the courage to believe what he believes. Or, at least, you should.

    This was a beautiful post. And brave!

    1. Thank you so much Sarah – for your words of encouragement, and helping me see that I should see through his eyes. And thanks for this FiveForTen – it has been enriching, empowering, thought-provoking, and absolutely fun!

  20. A true partnership is one in which each partner supports the other NO MATTER WHAT. And that is what you have. Excellent match, I daresay.

  21. How lucky you are to have a partner to pick you back up even when you’re at your lowest and reminds you how brave you are. And he’s right… getting back out there, picking yourself up and not feeling defeated is BRAVE. It takes a lot of courage.

    Thanks for a wonderful post. Glad to have found you!

  22. This says so much to me because I have been there so many times. I get so excited about something working out and putting all of my energy into that one thing working out and then when it doesn’t…I’m deflated.

    You are terrificly courageous for trying something new and don’t give up on your dreams, whether it’s this one or not. : )

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